There has been plenty of buzz around the name of Shawn Michaels lately, which has actually become commonplace this time of year. HBK retired in 2010 after his classic performance against the Undertaker in the main event of WrestleMania 26. But the “one more match” chants have followed him ever since despite taking a hard stance against the very idea. It hasn’t stopped the Heartbreak Kid from showing up from time to time, however.
Shawn Michaels has made in-ring appearances in the two most recent WrestleManias, prompting more and more speculation that he has one more run in him. Two years ago, he helped Triple H defeat Sting after faction run-ins from the nWo and D-X. Last year, he got in incredible shape for his memorable moment alongside Mick Foley and Steve Austin following a match between The New Day and the League of Nations.
Over the past couple years, Michaels has even superkicked the likes of Daniel Bryan, CM Punk and more recently, Rusev. And rumors that have gained the most traction over the last two months have been centered around who might entice him for one more match inside the ring.
It didn’t happen with Daniel Bryan, and it won’t be happening with AJ Styles at this Sunday’s Royal Rumble either. That final opponent of Shawn Michaels will forever remain the Undertaker. Unless, of course, Shawn runs out of money. Michaels recently revealed that bankruptcy would be the only reason he’d wrestle again. And in an interview with ESPN, Shawn raised some eyebrows at the thought of who he’d pick to face were he ever to lace up his boots again.
“I look at Samoa Joe and I’ve told him a number of times that I see his stuff at NXT and think to myself, ‘Man, I could have a great deal of fun with you.’ He’s a guy I have sort of enjoyed, and one of those sleeper guys that no one talks about. We have contrasting styles. I get that everybody wants to see me and AJ or Seth or Dolph [Ziggler]. From my standpoint, I think really telling a great story out there [is most important]. I could do it with a guy like Samoa Joe. His stuff looks really good, and sometimes he just looks like he’s beating the tar out of somebody.”
Regardless, Shawn Michaels reserves the right to never wrestle again, despite yearly clamoring to the contrary. As noted, rumors swirled late last year when a fan-made poster went viral featuring a graphic of Shawn Michaels and AJ Styles, teasing the possibility of a match at the Royal Rumble. And though he won’t be wrestling on the show, Michaels will have a role at the pay-per-view, according to a report from Ringside News.
It wasn’t hard to fathom Michaels showing up at the big event, considering the Alamodome is close to Shawn’s home in San Antonio. WWE officials began pitching legends like Michaels, the Undertaker, and Steve Austin months ago to stack the card for the 30th anniversary.
Shawn Michaels’ role won’t be what fans had been hoping for, but he is booked to appear as a panelist on the Royal Rumble Kickoff Show. The Rumble itself is set to begin airing at 7 p.m. EST, with a two-hour Kickoff show slated for 5 p.m. Shawn will join Renee Young, Booker T, and Jerry “The King” Lawler on the panel. The King, who recently signed a new deal with the WWE, is also in line to call the Royal Rumble match alongside Michael Cole and Corey Graves.
Michaels’ most recent WWE appearance came two weeks ago on RAW. His promotion of the film, The Resurrection of Gavin Stone, was interrupted by Rusev, Lana, and Jinder Mahal before Enzo & Big Cass evened the odds, prompting a tag team match. Shawn joked with the babyface tag team and planted Rusev late in the match with his patented sweet chin music.
[Featured Image by WWE]